The Romantics: Poetry, Prose, Imagination

The details
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Monday 13 January 2025
Friday 21 March 2025
14 August 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA Q300 English Literature,
BA Q303 English Literature (Including Placement Year),
BA Q320 English Literature (Including Foundation Year),
BA Q321 English Literature (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

Romantic writers valued feeling, freedom of expression and the power of the imagination. Writers we now consider establishment figures, such as William Wordsworth, John Keats and Samuel Taylor Coleridge rebelled against conventionality, both in their writing and their personal lives. Women writers pursued liberation through literature – on this module you will read works by Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, Jane Austen, and others.

Your study of poetry, prose and drama produced around the turn of the 19th century will provide you with an understanding of a relatively brief, although turbulent and complex period in our literary history.

Established and new critical approaches and theories will provide a framework for your enquiries.

Module aims

The aims of the module are:

1. To provide a strongly supportive learning environment in which students will study Romantic period poetry and prose.

2. To engage students with critical approaches and theories relevant to the study of Romantic writing.

3. To enable students to take full advantage of the research expertise of the tutor and the resources in the University's Albert Sloman Library.

4. To enhance employability by providing transferable skills that have practical applicability in the world outside the university.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a suitably advanced understanding of key areas of Romantic writing.
2. Demonstrate a suitably advanced understanding of key theories of interpretation, and be able to apply these to texts.
3. Display mastery of the complex cultural, historical and social contexts that inform Romantic poetry and prose.
4. Employ a range of research methods that build self-directed enquiry in a specialised area of study.

Students will acquire the following transferrable skills:
• Develop confidence and advanced skills in critical analysis and expository writing about Romantic literature.
• Develop skills in using materials in databases and electronic archives.
• Develop advanced skills and confidence in presenting and discussing their work, orally and in writing.

Module information

Required texts:
* Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice.
* Shelley, Mary. Mathilda.
* Wu, Duncan, ed. Romanticism: an Anthology. Oxford: Blackwell, 2012. (NB: Where possible, I have selected texts contained in this anthology. Students taking the module are advised to purchase or borrow the collection).

Learning and teaching methods

This module is designed to be deliverable either fully online (in a lockdown situation) or as a blended module with some online components and some face-to-face instruction, health and safety permitting. The structure of each week will alternate slightly between these two patterns: • Week A: 50 min lecture (Zoom); 50 min seminar (either face-to-face or Zoom). • Week B: 50 min lecture (Zoom); 10 min pair tutorial (either Zoom or email feedback). Lectures will always be recorded and uploaded. They may also be supplemented by curated online media. Students will also complete a series of small weekly assignments ahead of lectures and seminars (eg. reading-comprehension quizzes, forum posts, annotation exercises, etc).


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Short Essay (1,000 words)    20% 
Coursework   Research Essay (2,500 words)    60% 
Coursework   Online Portfolio (Submitted via Moodle)    15% 
Practical   Participation    5% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Susan Oliver, email:
Professor Susan Oliver
LiFTS General Office, email: Telephone 01206 872626



External examiner

Dr Doug Haynes
University of Sussex
Reader in American Literature and Visual Culture
Available via Moodle
Of 616 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
616 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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